Yoko Ara, cello
Cellist Yoko Ara was born in Tokyo, Japan. After graduating from the Toho Gakuen High School of Music and entering Toho Gakuen University, she transferred to Illinois State University, Department of Music on full scholarship in 1986. While there, Ms. Ara joined Springfield Symphony Orchestra.
In 1989 Ms. Ara transferred to Rutgers University and received a Bachelor of Music Degree in 1990. She Won third prize in Graham Stahl Music Competition. Ms. Ara entered The Julliard School of Music in 1990 and was the principal cellist for The Julliard Orchestra. In 1992, she graduated from The Julliard School with a Master of Music Degree and in the same year, held a recital at Lincoln Center.
After coming back to Japan, Ms. Ara started giving recitals at various music halls throughout Japan and received “The Music Festival Award” at Tateshina Heights.
In 2002, Ms. Ara had a decennial recital titled “New York Memories” at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan with favorite comments in respective fields. In November 2003, Ms. Ara was appointed as a cellist of Banquet Music at The Commemoration Lecture by Bill Clinton; the 42nd President of the U.S. in Fukuoka.
In October 2004 Ms. Ara performed at Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, in New York titled “Ginza Classics in New York”. In November 2006, she gave a recital at St. John’s, Smith Square in London.
Now, Ms. Ara, a renowned cellist in Japan, performing as a regular member of the “Miyazaki International Music Festival” and the “Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival” . She also appears frequently as a guest principal cellist for the major Orchestras in Japan and also plays at “Mito Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Ara is a member of a unit “Duo Champagne” with harpist, Mieko Inoue. She is also a member of Arioso Piano Trio.
Ms. Ara released her first original CD album titled “THE CINEMA OF REMINISCENCE-PLEIN SOLEIL” in 2003, “Fantasiestucke” in 2010, and “SMILE” in 2018. All three albums are well accepted and increasing in fans.
Ms. Ara's cello teachers were Mr. Juro Aoki, Mr. Ko Iwasaki, Mr. B. Greenhouse, and Mr. H. Shapiro, and also chamber music by Ms. Shuku Iwasaki, Mr. J. Feldman, and The Julliard Quartet.
Currently, Ms. Ara is a professor and the Head of the String Department at Senzoku Gakuen School of Music (Tokyo, Japan).